Trinidad James isn't trippin.' Maybe he was at one time. But he's no longer burdened by a history that may have once deemed him an overnight success, a one-hit wonder, a cautionary tale of a crash-and-burn career.
Yes, he rose to stardom via his 2012 mixtape cut-turned-viral hit "All Gold Everything"—it was the independent effort that caught the eyes and ears of Def Jam, the label that would go on to sign the rapper in a $2 million joint venture deal while still reeling from its momentum, and then drop him before ever releasing his debut album.
But now, James is doing more than just collecting songwriting royalties from Mark Ronson's Grammy-winning "Uptown Funk" (which samples James' "Gold"); he's just released his new single, "Just A Lil Thick," an ode to women in the 175-and-over weight division, under RECORDS (the newly-formed independent label between Barry Weiss and SONGS Music Publishing).
Its accompanying music video is an NSFW antic-filled clip that features Lil Dicky's face between two asses, Mystikal supervising a game of tug-of-war, and James, proudly self-styled in three ponytails, a furry-sleeved sweater, and gold boots: "Once I look great, I know it's a wrap, like, that's it. You can't beat me if I look great."
So, when James told REVOLT that he's got three more worth-the-wait visuals on the way, it didn't feel like an empty promise. Here, he talks to us about the making of the video and the difference between major and independent labels; he also gives advice on viral success and his stamp of approval to a few up-and-comers.